The former mistress of “benefits scrounger” Mick Philpott, who is accused of killing his six children, told a court how she ended their relationship after enduring years of abusive and domineering behaviour.
Lisa Willis left Philpott 10 years after she moved into the home he shared with his wife and their children, the court heard.
Willis had four children with Philpott during that time and said she and his wife Mairead took it in turns to alternate the nights they would share a bed with him.
The family achieved notoriety in 2006 and 2007 when they appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show and in a documentary with MP Ann Widdecombe.
Philpott, aged 56, his 31-year-old wife, and a third defendant, 46-year-old Paul Mosley, are on trial for the manslaughter of the Philpotts’ six children.
Jade, 10, and her brothers John, 9; Jack, 8; Jesse, 6; Jayden, 5, and Duwayne, 13, all perished after a fire which engulfed their home in Allenton, Derby, as they slept on May 11 last year.
All three defendants have denied the charges.
Giving evidence from behind a screen at Nottingham Crown Court, Willis, 29, agreed with Philpott’s barrister, Anthony Orchard, that the result of the TV appearances was not positive.
He said: “Mr Philpott was being lambasted as a benefits scrounger. You were seen as a shameless family. It was a horrible time, wasn’t it?”
“Yes it was,” Willis said.
He went on: “Michael Philpott is a man who raises in people quite a lot of emotion. People either love him or hate him.
“He could be arrogant. He could be a bit of a loud mouth. He would shout his business to anyone who would listen. He could rub people up the wrong way.
“There are some people who like him but many who do not.”
Willis replied: “Yes, that’s true.”
The prosecution alleges that the Philpotts and Mosley started the fire in a botched plan to set Willis up after she and her five children, four of whom were fathered by Philpott, left the relationship.
Orchard said: “In relation to the children, you would agree that he was a good father?”
“Yes, he was a good father,” Willis said.
The barrister asked: “He would do nothing to endanger them?”
“No,” she replied.
The trial continues.
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